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Old 09-06-2021, 12:00 PM   #1
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2017 20' Flying Cloud
Williamson County , Texas
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Wiring A/C with a separate circuit for Gen ?

Wondering if you could put a transfer switch in place so that you could run (only) the A/C on a generator while all other loads would be carried by batteries and solar as applicable.

That way if your generator is capable of running the A/C (as our Honda 2200 on propane with the 13.5k A/C seems to be (up to 4,000 ft anyway)) you could avoid throwing additional load on it.

We do have 2 generators, but would prefer to carry only one. That said we often don't carry even one, but that is another subject.

What might be the potential problems with this idea?
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:26 PM   #2
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Yes - it is doable. Home generator backup systems do this all the time (select only certain legs to power).

Pitfall A is finding an electrician who understands RV power systems.

Pitfall B is finding/making space for the electrical box in which the breaker will be located.

Pitfall C is getting over a big hole being drilled in the side of your American Classic to accommodate the NEMA connector needed to mate with the generator.

Hope this helps,
Tom
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:33 PM   #3
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Hi

Can you do this? Sure you can. It's only money

Should you do this? .... hmmm ....

All the 12V loads will run off of the battery "as is". No modifications are required. Running *anything* off the inverter is going to be power intensive. ( = you run the batteries down fast). What "other loads" might you run on the inverter?

Water heater? nope, run it on propane.

Fridge? propane again.

Microwave? Only if you have a pretty substantial inverter. Probably easier to turn off the A/C for the short time it's on.

Looking around the trailer ... not a lot left. The TV will run off the inverter without any re-wiring. You just flip a breaker and a switch.

I can't see a lot of benefits

Bob
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Old 09-06-2021, 12:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Can you do this? Sure you can. It's only money

Should you do this? .... hmmm ....

All the 12V loads will run off of the battery "as is". No modifications are required. Running *anything* off the inverter is going to be power intensive. ( = you run the batteries down fast). What "other loads" might you run on the inverter?

Water heater? nope, run it on propane.

Fridge? propane again.

Microwave? Only if you have a pretty substantial inverter. Probably easier to turn off the A/C for the short time it's on.

Looking around the trailer ... not a lot left. The TV will run off the inverter without any re-wiring. You just flip a breaker and a switch.

I can't see a lot of benefits

Bob
Well now that you point all that out, you are of course correct. I have seen our current draw vary quite a bit when hooked up to shore power with A/C on, but of course we are not going to be running electric water heater or MW when on battery/solar/generator anyway. Yikes that seems so obvious now! I think I have only used the inverter twice in the last 3 years anyway and one time was just to verify it worked.
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Old 09-06-2021, 01:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
Well now that you point all that out, you are of course correct. I have seen our current draw vary quite a bit when hooked up to shore power with A/C on, but of course we are not going to be running electric water heater or MW when on battery/solar/generator anyway. Yikes that seems so obvious now! I think I have only used the inverter twice in the last 3 years anyway and one time was just to verify it worked.
Hi

For some things it helps if you are sitting in a trailer and looking at the loads in real time as you type ... ( one *might* call it cheating .... )

Bob
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
Wondering if you could put a transfer switch in place so that you could run (only) the A/C on a generator while all other loads would be carried by batteries and solar as applicable.
Airstream has made changes to the connections between the 12V circuit, the converter/charger and the batteries over the years, but with a 2017 model which should be like my 2016, I would switch off the converter breaker switch to make sure the generator is not powering the 12V circuit, then toggle the Use/Store switch to Use to connect the batteries to the 12V circuit and, as others have mentioned, run the fridge and hot water on propane, and you should be fine. And if your solar is set up like mine, it is directly connected to the batteries (via a cutoff switch) so there is nothing to be done there, it will keep charging your batteries.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:05 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=SYC2Vette;2534818]Wondering

(as our Honda 2200 on propane with the 13.5k A/C seems to be (up to 4,000 ft anyway)


"4,000 feet" - What size wire?
Just curious.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Airstream has made changes to the connections between the 12V circuit, the converter/charger and the batteries over the years, but with a 2017 model which should be like my 2016, I would switch off the converter breaker switch to make sure the generator is not powering the 12V circuit, then toggle the Use/Store switch to Use to connect the batteries to the 12V circuit and, as others have mentioned, run the fridge and hot water on propane, and you should be fine. And if your solar is set up like mine, it is directly connected to the batteries (via a cutoff switch) so there is nothing to be done there, it will keep charging your batteries.
Yes, thought of that and much simpler than going to the trouble of a transfer switch! Thanks for confirming that makes sense.
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Old 09-07-2021, 12:12 PM   #9
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look at victron products

they support dual power coming into the Multiplus products
www.victronenergy.com
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:18 PM   #10
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Have you looked to see where your ac attaches to power? Mine is wired to a plug and plugged into a duplex above my refrigerator. I could run an extension cord thru the vent door and plug ac into that and hook to generator if needed.
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Old 09-07-2021, 08:39 PM   #11
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A lot of us have wired an AC inlet (30/50) at the front of our trailers. That and with a tee, hose and propane quick disconnect we run our gennys in the pickup bed. Works great. BTW, I upgraded my Yamaha 3000 to a 6300 so now I can run both A/Cs for a quick cool down. I know, I'm spoiled with all these handy options.
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Old 09-09-2021, 08:47 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=DaveG;2535097]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SYC2Vette View Post
Wondering

(as our Honda 2200 on propane with the 13.5k A/C seems to be (up to 4,000 ft anyway)


"4,000 feet" - What size wire?
Just curious.
I see a problem with wording in my impulse post > retry:
Are you experiencing a problem above 4000?
How are you connecting (gauge and length of wire)?
Softstart?
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:03 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=DaveG;2535728]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post

I see a problem with wording in my impulse post > retry:
Are you experiencing a problem above 4000?
How are you connecting (gauge and length of wire)?
Softstart?
I have not installed a softstart although I have a kit sitting on my desk. 4000' altitude reference is because I have not tried it at higher altitude, it "might" work. We actually have 2 of the 2200 set up to parallel, but usually only carry one. I don't know the wire size, the cable is a pretty standard 30A cable.
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:26 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=SYC2Vette;2535757]
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveG View Post

I have not installed a softstart although I have a kit sitting on my desk. 4000' altitude reference is because I have not tried it at higher altitude, it "might" work. We actually have 2 of the 2200 set up to parallel, but usually only carry one. I don't know the wire size, the cable is a pretty standard 30A cable.
Curiosity and questions are in regard to limitations of a smaller but easier to handle generator.
Thanks!!
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